Don’t need it. Because everyone, everywhere in the world understands basic English if spoken loud enough and accompanied by wild hand gestures.

“WHERE IS THE BATHROOM?” “I NEED A ROOM FOR THE NIGHT!” “I WILL HAVE FIVE BEERS AND PLEASE INTRODUCE ME TO YOUR DAUGHTERS!” But it’s important, when visiting other countries, to learn at least one phrase that shows their people you can communicate in their simplistic, outdated language.

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For years, “It’s not raining” has served me well and also freaked the Cambodian people out, especially in rural areas, where they rarely see 6’3″ Chinese Americans. I don’t know the exact translation of their response, but I’m sure it was something to the effect of “Wow, the crazy northern devil is right, it’s really not raining.” I know this because they would look to the sky then start clicking and pointing at it and then to me. Then they would make the international sign for devil horns and hand me a puppy. Happy day!

In Greece, everything anyone says sounds like they hate you. The cadence and inflection of ordering a glass of wine sounds exactly the same as a declaration of war. Ditto for German, except in German you spit more. But the intention is the same.

Telling someone it’s not raining when it’s really not raining is like a big international winking smiley face with two thumbs up and a star.This phrase is obviously useless in Singapore where, according to my records, it’s rained every day for the past two months.

I usually try to avoid talking about the weather because it tends to be what people talk about when they don’t know what else to talk about and don’t know anything about sports. Unless, of course, there’s some major hurricane or ceaseless, back-to-back days where rain… just… won’t… stop. Something weird is happening and I think I know what it is: Earthquake & Tsunami. Nature’s hip-check into the boards; her upper cut; her middle finger.

This prediction is based on a sophisticated system I’ve developed that involves the recent odd behaviour of my cat, this Armageddon-like weather and the fact that Prague’s “only once every 100 years flood” just happened fours years after the last one.

Until then, I invite you all to check out the new Jamwerkz at the Gashaus (114 Middle Road, #01-00, near Queen Street and across from t he old NAFA building). If you’re a musician and looking for a place to practice, there are three practice studios opening during the first week of May, and who knows, with all the record label types popping in for lunch, who knows, you might just get discovered. Stranger things have happened on this little isle called Singapura…

Enjoy the issue.

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